Suggestions for Pre-Twinkle and Very Young Beginner Materials?

Barbara Stafford said: Apr 4, 2013
Barbara Stafford
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
59 posts

I am teaching a 3 year old for the very first time. Right now she is just learning to figure out her fingers, and not yet able to control them. I do mix in a little of “The New Pre-Twinkle Book” by Kathryn Merrill & Jean Brandt, but right now, for this particular student, I think we need more general music and body awareness activities and less “violin” activities. Can anyone suggest general music books & or methods I can purchase and draw from for activities for this very young child? Thank you so much for any suggestions you may have !!!

Phankao said: Apr 6, 2013
Phankao WanPiano, Viola, Violin
128 posts

Bow Bunny Hop?
Activities with the bow and singing? (Up like the rocket, Down like the rain?).
Monkey climbing up/down the bow.

Left hand finger counting and tapping? And Tapping fingers on the violin box to “4 little monkeys jumping on the bed, 3 little monkeys … etc”.

Barbara Stafford said: Apr 8, 2013
Barbara Stafford
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
59 posts

Thank you :)

Maria Stefanova-Mar said: Apr 8, 2013
 Violin
Albuquerque, NM
19 posts

Kirsten Wartberg’s Step By Step could be great for that, your student can do lots of listening and rhythm activities with it.

http://www.amazon.com/Step-1A-Intorduction-Successful-Practice/dp/1589512022

Barbara Stafford said: Apr 9, 2013
Barbara Stafford
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
59 posts

Thank you, I will try that out!

Kiyoko said: Apr 15, 2013
 84 posts

Ran across this thread looking for pre-Twinkle and early childhood Suzuki home teaching (well, rather play) ideas. I was a Sizuki violin kid from three years old and remember doing the following before the focus shifted to a real violin.

All the following can be done before a box violin so that the time you introduce the box violin and practice bow, the foundation for everything else is laid. Listening to music with parent (mom in my case), and watching parent take lessons, practice, and play. Attending group lessons with parent. Learning to bow and posture basics: Games while standing with feet together, toe touch exercises, and arm stretching/movement. Other creative fun games that build rapport, focus, coordination, and skill development for bowing (with body), bowing (with hand), fingering, and posture. One I liked even when older, put hand on head and down again, then pat head, rub tummy, separately. Laughing while trying to pat head and rub tummy! Dr. Suzuki said exercises like this help with bowing for rhythms like triplets. You can also have a parent pat the head, and the child rub tummy to teach focus through distraction.

Listening exercises without box violin:
- listening while standing on foot chart, any position
- listening while on foot chart with feet together
-listening while on foot chart, feet in playing position
- Repeat later with box violin after it is introduced—in rest position, in playing position with bow at side, then on head, then on bridge.

Anecdotally, something I learned with my toddler son is that they can learn to distinguish tonality very quickly. For example, since he was an infant, shared YouTube videos of kids playing violin and other instruments in wide ranges of age and proficiency. A totally unexpected side effect is that he is already able to discern which play with more tonality and better pitch—those hold his attention more. Oh! Today something just clicked in my son with tonality and his toy xylophone. He suddenly started purposefully playing clear, bright tones instead of his usual hit or miss—then proceeded to repeatedly play part of a scale! A moment that had to be shared. :)

Essie Liu said: Apr 16, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
26 posts

Thank Kiyoko for sharing. It’s very helpful.
:) Lovely. Good for your son.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Barb said: Apr 16, 2013
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Kiyoko, I appreciate your various posts here based on your experience!

Barbara, I have a great book for very young students by Charlene Wilson called Sing a Song of Twinkle. “A Pre-Twinkle and Suzuki book 1 songbook for cello and other strings. It is a book full of songs set to book one pieces. There are two chapters. The first is all introductory for CELLO set up, bow, finger coordination, and the second is a variety of words for the book one pieces (most of which are in violin book one as well): the traditional words, teaching words (the lyrics are helpful to playing), and some are just for fun.

Some things which could be used for violin: Old McDonald version for making a bunny face (bow hold prep), vertical and horizontal bow exercises, finger exercises (thumbkin hiding, thumbkin knocking, flinging fleas, etc.) And of course singing all the book one songs.

For cello teachers, the main book is [Ideas for] Teaching Suzuki Cello The activities are very clearly described here, and there are good drawings. The Sing a Song book was born when Charlene Wilson was asked to teach two 28 month old children. “One thing was clear from the first: they learned every Pre-Twinkle technique readily if it was presented in song form.”

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Susan said: Apr 17, 2013
 Violin, Viola
22 posts

Kiyoko:
Thanks so much for the ideas for Pre-Twinklers. Am working for non-profit starting an after school program for kindergarteners and 1st graders which will then funnel into my violin classes. While these are ‘older’ students, they, too, like to have fun and laugh. I will be using your suggestions for the their teachers so they will be prepared for my classes. Again, thanks. And if you have any more suggestions, please post!

Sue Hunt said: Apr 18, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
389 posts

When teaching beginners, it can be frustrating when a beautiful bow hold and violin hold collapse, as another layer of difficulty is added. You could try 36 Beginner Bow Hold Games and 24 Beginner Violin Hold Games. These games are specifically for encouraging a child to maintain a great bow hold or violin hold while doing fun challenges. When played regularly, they increase the chances of maintaining good form and posture when putting the bow on the instrument for the first time. My pupils like to use a lucky dip, to slot them into their practice sessions, between other practice tasks.

Kiyoko said: Apr 19, 2013
 84 posts

Is there a place were Suzuki Pre-Twinkle, Twinkle, and other supplemental materials are listed?

Sue Hunt said: Apr 20, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
389 posts

I’m working on Pre Twinkle Group Games. I’ve got 90 so far and I think that I have barely skimmed the surface.

Christiane said: Apr 20, 2013
Christiane Pors-Sadoff
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
New York, NY
47 posts

I did Book 1A with Kay Collier-Slone and she had a book out called:
They’re Rarely Too Young…and Never Too Old “To Twinkle”: Teaching Insights Into the World of Beginning Suzuki Violin. I found this to be invaluable when I began teaching very young children. But you may have that already?

Christiane Pors
Violinist
Mikomi Violin Studio
Kaufman Music Center
NYU Steinhardt

Edmund Sprunger said: Apr 20, 2013
Edmund SprungerTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Saint Louis, MO
99 posts

My recent book BUILDING VIOLIN SKILLS (link below) is designed to be a comprehensive book for the parents of young beginners. I’m not a fan of using these forums for promoting commercial publications, but I did write the book precisely to fill the gap in the kinds of resources you seek.

It’s totally unfair: the beginning stages are the most difficult and the most important. Parents of beginners need all the support they can get!

http://yespublishing.com/yespublishing.com/titles.html

Edmund Sprunger
sprungerstudio.com
yespublishing.com

Barbara Stafford said: Apr 20, 2013
Barbara Stafford
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
59 posts

Thank you, everyone for all these ideas and suggestions for great materials—this is giving me a lot of possibilities to look into!

Sue Hunt said: Apr 21, 2013
Sue Hunt
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Violin
389 posts

Ed Sprunger’s book is full of useful info. I am always excited by his teaching. He has also written Helping Parents Practice—very helpful on the psychology of making it happen.

Another book that I have found useful is Sharpen Your Tools by Jennifer Burton—lots of practical ideas here.

I don’t think that anyone has mentioned William Starr’s book The Suzuki Violinist.

Have you read, With Love in My Heart and a Twinkle in My Ear, by Sheila Warby?

Kiyoko said: Apr 22, 2013
 84 posts

Sue: Do you know how I might get a copy of With Love In My Heart and a Twinkle in My Ear?

Kiyoko said: Apr 29, 2013
 84 posts

BTW, here is a free pre-Twinkle packet done by the Bibbs County School District in Georgia that I just ran across:

http://schools.bibb.k12.ga.us/cms/lib01/GA01000598/Centricity/Domain/3343/pretwinkle_2011.pdf

Susan said: Apr 30, 2013
 Violin, Viola
22 posts

Thank you Kiyoko!

Barbara Stafford said: May 1, 2013
Barbara Stafford
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
59 posts

Yes, that packet is very helpful!

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